Welcome to Not Quite Entomology! This is a different approach to matching
the hatch, or learning which insect the fish are really eating. We hope to include
the flies and methods to make it all work as well. We hope this series will inspire
you to go out, look on top of and under rocks, check the stream-side vegetation,
really investigate your favorite water and learn which are your local trout's favorite foods!
It's that time again. In the mid-west and east it's Allocapnia
granulata, Allocapnia vivipara, Paracapnia angulata,
and Nemoura albidipennis. While in the west it's
a different group of stoneflies, it's Capnia gracilaris, Capnia
brevicaudata, Nemoura cintipes, and Nemoura
oregonensis. The former bunch hatch from the first of
January to about the 10th of May, while in the west the later is mid
January to about the 20th of May. These stones come off the stream
in morning to midday and in general are 6-8 mm in size and range
from black to dark reddish-brown. These are the 'snow flies,' which
are often observed crawling on the snow banks before baseball season.
It's the first of March and my friend Ron says they are doing it in
Pennsylvania as we speak.
The nice thing is they all can be represented by the same fly. A
nymph that is black to reddish-brown in a size 16-18. Most fish
the nymph but a few do fairly well with the dry. I've seen a black
monofilament nymph that I thought would hatch out on my tying table.
Look for these micro monsters in streams with large boulders and
a lot of small gravel, generally freestone streams. Their presence
is readily advertised by the presence of nymphal shucks on the
Trout seem to hang in the first drop near the shore waiting there to
intercept the pre-emergence shoreward migration. A downstream
wet fly to the bank presentation is usually used. The adults return to
the stream in mid-day and should be fished with a drag-free drift.
I have done well fishing a glow bug egg tie with a wide gap size 18
hook. I can't recall ever observing another fly fisher using miniature
egg patterns during a mayfly or a stonefly egg laying event. Maybe
my recollection was clouded. Surely others would have tried this,
if it worked we would have seen it in the literature.
I use a 5-6X tippet and have seldom discussed this under-fished
winter event while my circulation would permit my participation.
Even in streams that seem to support few other stonefly species
I usually could observe the shucks of tiny winter blacks on the
Stoneflies (Plecoptera) are a serious source of
trout nourishment where they are present, and early in the year
before the Baetis appear they may be the best
act going. The stone fly nymphs will be recognized by the double
set of wing pads. Mayflies only have one set. I tie all my early stones
with one set of wing pads and the trout never seem to notice. I
never could count the tails, so instead of two fibers I just tie in
a small bunch.
Remember even if a stonefly hatch is not happening trout will tend
to feed on the predominate prey that is present. A stonefly is usually
Early on, fish a black or reddish-brown stonefly, un-weighted, in a
size 16-18 swinging it from midstream to the bank wet fly style and
never forget that even when it snows the trout are there. They just
never learned to vacation in Florida. Old Rupe
PS: I use a black Pott's tie with a red floss stitch and black bear
hair for the hackle. The body is natural black sheep. I tie it larger
than life in a 14.
Special credit to: Aquatic Entomology by W. Patrick
McCafferty, published by Jones and Bartlett for the illustration in this
[ HOME ]
[ Search ]
[ Contact FAOL ]
[ Media Kit ]
FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice